Frequently Asked Questions
Am I eligible to access the SuppoRTT programme?
Access to SuppoRTT in the South West is available to all trainees in the region who are planning to take, or are already on, an approved period of time out of training for one or more of the following reasons:
- Parental leave exceeding 3 months
- GMC suspension
- Sick leave or carer’s leave of 3 months or more
- Doctors who have been out of training for more than 3 months and have accepted a Severn or Peninsula training post
Are doctors returning to non-training posts (LEDs, such as trust grade doctors and clinical fellows) eligible to access SuppoRTT?
Locally employed doctors (LEDs) can access the SuppoRTT programme in the South West if they have had a break from clinical practice for 3 months or more. They should complete the online forms associated with the SuppoRTT process if they are intending to access the programme in any capacity. The meetings and completion of associated online forms should take place with an educational supervisor, or the local SuppoRTT Champion if they do not have an ES and their employer is unable to find one for them. We recommend that they undertake a period of enhanced supervision, with assistance from their clinical supervisor, line manager or SuppoRTT Champion. These doctors are not eligible for HEE funding for RTTA days, but their employers may choose to provide a study budget to allow for this. LEDs are welcome to access the free SuppoRTT courses, but only if there are places available after trainees with numbers have been offered places.
What are KiT and SPLiT days?
Please see our KiT/SPLiT day information page for details.
What are RTTA days?
Please see our RTTA day information page for details (please scroll to the bottom of this webpage for RTTA information).
What SuppoRTT funding may be available to me?
Alongside the period of enhanced supervision and in-house clinical KiT/SPLiT days, attending local courses is the preferred method for re-developing competence and confidence. For those attending courses on KiT/SPLiT days, it should be possible to claim study leave funding from your employing trust, via the usual method. Salary equivalent funding is not currently available to trainees who are returning from leave other than parental leave and decide to undertake KiT-equivalent RTTA days. However, there is funding available to cover for the expenses associated with attending RTTAs. More information can be found here.
What is the period of enhanced supervision?
In order to rapidly regain clinical knowledge and confidence, doctors returning to training following a period of absence will be strongly encouraged to participate in a period of 10 working days of enhanced supervision immediately following their return to work. The trainee will work their usual days and hours during this period.
During this supernumerary period;
- Trainees will participate in closely supervised work and by the end of the period trainees should be working at a level commensurate with re-entry into the training programme.
- Trainees will be surplus to the rota at their employing trust and will not be used to fill rota gaps
- Trainees can choose to “shadow” out-of-hours sessions, but will only work in a supernumerary capacity
- The trainee’s employing trust will pay the trainee for this period at their usual rate (I.e. their usual, ongoing salary), via payroll. The pay will be as if the trainee had returned to their usual working pattern .
How much supervision is required during the period of enhanced supervision?
At the pre-return planning meeting, an action plan should be agreed between trainee and ES about what level of supervision is required and an appropriate support package, reflecting the duration and reason for absence, created. It may include amendments to the type of clinical activities undertaken. For example; trainees who undertake clinics may require a reduced number of patients with a named consultant available to provide help and advice when needed. Trainees in craft specialties are likely to require directly supervised lists. It is important that the responsibilities of the trainee are clarified and agreed with the trainee and their department before the trainee returns to work.
What if I need more or less than the standard ten working days of enhanced supervision?
In cases where there is any deviation from the recommended 10 working days of enhanced supervision, this must be variation reported through the SuppoRTT Champion. An email should be sent from the ES to the SuppoRTT Champion outlining why a reduced or extended period is required and approval granted by the SuppoRTT Champion before it can proceed. An online form that can be used for this purpose is available here and more information can be found the SuppoRTT Process web page. Once approved, trainees not requiring enhanced supervision can immediately return to all usual clinical duties, including out-of-hours commitments, upon their return to work.
How do I arrange enhanced supervision?
It is the responsibility of the Educational Supervisor (or SuppoRTT Champion if no allocated ES) to communicate with the rota co-ordinator about a returner’s period of enhanced supervision, so that the necessary rota amendments can be made before the trainee returns to work. However, it is the responsibility of the trainee to arrange a pre-return planning meeting with their ES, a minimum of 6 weeks before their return.
What if I’m asked to work without adequate supervision during this period?
Any trainee who encounters difficulties surrounding their rota/clinical commitments during their period of enhanced supervision should contact their SuppoRTT Champion who has the authority to enforce our recommendations.
Can I work out-of-hours or on-call during the period of enhanced supervision?
Trainees can volunteer to work out of hours/on-call during the enhanced supervision period, providing a peer or consultant colleague is identified to offer direct supervision, and that they are working in a supernumerary capacity. It is not appropriate to undertake locum or other on-call shifts during this period.
Think I may benefit from more intensive support. What should I do?
In the first instance, you can contact your ES (if you know who they are) or your SuppoRTT Champion.Another option is to self-refer to your local Professional Support Unit. Links to these can be found below:
Who is my SuppoRTT Champion?
Your SuppoRTT Champion is the Champion based in the trust that you are due to return to work in, even if this is different to the one that you were working in before you went on leave. If you are a GP trainee returning to a hospital post, your Champion is the person allocated to the hospital trust. If you are based in a hospital, but due to rotate to a community post, your Champion is the person allocated to the community post. Please see our SuppoRTT Champions page for more information on the role of and contact details for your local SuppoRTT Champion.
I have been affected by COVID-19. What support is available to me?
Looking after your wellbeing during this crisis is crucial - it is a marathon, not a sprint. Our Professional Support and Wellbeing team across the South West are operational during the COVID crisis and can be contacted on PSW.SW@hee.nhs.uk. However, there are many avenues of support for you to access through your trust and elsewhere which we would ask you to consider before contacting the PSW. Key resources can we found in our COVID-19 PSW FAQs. More information regarding Professional Support & Wellbeing can be found on the Severn and Peninsula websites.
Is there peer mentoring?
We hope to be able to offer this in the future. However, if you are interested in finding a mentor who is a trainee (peer mentor), please liaise with your SuppoRTT Champion as there might be somebody local. Alternatively, you can have a coach/mentor, an experienced senior doctor trained in this area (usually to ILM-5 standard, a recognised professional coaching qualification). Please go to the coaching section of this site to apply.